What’s On in Yorkshire - May 2013

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no caption - Credit: Archant


May 18th – June 8th

Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret

Sherlock Holmes has been jolted back to life recently in two contrastingly different ways: as an eccentric contemporary smart-arse on BBC TV, played by Benedict Cumberbatch and as an all-action, big screen, bare-knuckle boxing Victorian movie hero, played by Robert Downey Jr. Both are supremely entertaining, so whatever way you cut it, the Baker Street ‘tec is cool again. This production is written by Leeds playwright Mark Catley and directed by Nikolai Foster who created the WYP’s production of Annie in 2011. See our interview with Mark Catley earlier in the magazine.

West Yorkshire Playhouse Leeds 0113 213 7700 wyp.org.uk

May 1st-4th & 25th, 29th, 30th & 31st

Don’t Shoot the Messenger & Beyond the Veil

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I wrote about Marsden-based Mikron Theatre Company in last year’s Yorkshire Life, because a) Mikron celebrated its 40th birthday in 2012 and b) its actors have a unique way of arriving at the venues they play ie by narrowboat. They may be actors, but there are no luvvie strops allowed when you’re floating around by barge for six months of the year.

At Yorkshire Life towers we were ashamed to admit that we’d never seen a Mikron ‘let’s do the show right here’ style production (they appear anywhere from pub gardens and village halls to people’s front rooms) so, last July, I went to see their musical comedy, Losing the Plot, which was touring around allotments in Yorkshire. It was a sublime evening: laugh-out funny and inventive. It was also beautifully bizarre because, frankly, I was watching a first-class bunch of actors put on an alfresco comedy performance among carrots, cauliflowers and cabbages.

This year, Mikron are returning to the allotment theme with a comedy murder mystery called Beyond the Veil about sudden death among the bee-keeping community plus Don’t Shoot the Messenger, a comical journey through five centuries of postal history. Both shows run until September, but there are too many venues to tell you about here, so check out the Mikron website for details.

Venues in Huddersfield, Richmond, York & Skipton 01484 843701 mikron.org.uk

May 6th-11th

Abigail’s Party

Classic, toe-curlingly awful, suburban social observation from Mike Leigh, with Hannah Waterman, Martin Marquez, Samuel James, Katie Lightfoot and Emily Raymond. You’ll never look at a tray of cheese and pineapple on cocktail sticks in the same way again.

Alhambra Theatre Bradford 01274 432000 bradford-theatres.co.uk

May 8th-11th

The Taming of the Shrew

Shakespeare’s rollicking comedy centres on the attempts of Petruchio, a gold-digging gentleman of Verona, to woo the fiery Katharine, a task which is — putting it mildly — on the challenging side. Oh, look. Just kiss him, Kate.

Sheffield Lyceum 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

May 21st & 22nd

Female Gothic

A one-woman show adapted and performed by Dyad Productions’ Rebecca Vaughan, featuring chilling stories from the great female writers of Gothic fiction. Eek.

Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough 01723 370541 sjt.uk.com

May 14th

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

This controversial play by Mike Daisey is a one-man show about Apple (the reference in the title is to the late Apple boss, Steve Jobs) and how Apple products are made in an increasingly globalised world. Daisey excised five minutes of material that had been challenged — but the big themes remain the same.

Harrogate Theatre 01423 502116 harrogatetheatre.co.uk

May 30th – June 1st


Yorkshire playwright Mike Kenny again, this time with a child-friendly (five and over) adaptation of the Grimm fairytale about the little man with the big temper and the penchant for gold made out of (yes, really) straw.

West Yorkshire Playhouse Leeds 0113 213 7700 wyp.org.uk

May 22nd-25th

I Was a Rat

Touring production of Philip Pullman’s classic children’s novel. A fantastical tale full of music, comedy and fantastic physical performances.

Leeds City Varieties Theatre 08456 441881 cityvarieties.co.uk


May 21st – 25th

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

After Nutcracker and Swan Lake, the creative genius that is Matthew Bourne returns to the music of Tchaikovsky. The Observer called it ‘an eye-popping gothic delight’.

Sheffield Lyceum 0114 249 6000 sheffieldtheatres.co.uk


May 10th

Eddie Izzard

Going to an Eddie Izzard gig? Then you expect lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ and ‘groovies’ and ‘so, yeahs’ in between the rambling surreal gags. It’s these vocal tics that make Eddie stand out from the rest of the comedy crowd.

Motorpoint Arena Sheffield 0114 256 5656 motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk


May 4th

East Riding County Choir May Concert

East Riding County Choir perform Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Mozart’s Requiem in the beautiful surroundings of Beverley Minster.

Beverley Minster 01482 391672 eastridingcountychoir.co.uk

May 20th

Journey, Whitesnake & Thunder

You don’t admit to liking the music of Journey or Whitesnake (two words, though, dad rockers: Tawny Kitaen) in the same way that you don’t admit to wearing loon pants, circa 1975 or sporting a mullet haircut in the late 1980s. It’s just not the fashionable thing to do. But come on Men and Women of a Certain Age who among us doesn’t enjoy a quick blast of Don’t Stop Believing (Journey) or Here I Go Again (Whitesnake)? Both bands will be appearing on the same bill at the Motorpoint this month, though there was a time when they could have sold out the place on their own. Mind you, have you ever heard of a British band called Thunder? Me neither, but they’ll be there, too. In keeping with the ‘rawk’ theme, Canadian band Rush play Sheffield on May 28th.

Motorpoint Arena Sheffield 0114 256 5656 motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk


May 25th – June 8th

Swaledale Festival

One the best and inspirational music festivals to be staged in Yorkshire that goes from strength to strength each year. There are too many acts to mention but headlining is the world’s greatest classical guitarist John Williams who has returned to touring and will give a solo recital in Grinton Church, the ‘cathedral of the Dales’. With 50 years of live performance and over 30 best-selling recordings and film scores to his credit, Williams is at the peak of his powers - a real catch for the festival. For full programme details and tickets go to the festival website.

Various venues swaledale-festival.org.uk

May 22nd – 26th

Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival

Guest artists include the Renaissance vocal ensemble Gallicantus, the acclaimed harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock and the Carnival Band with Vivien Ellis. For full details, check out the festival website.


May 4th-6th

Dales Festival of Food and Drink

Iconic foodie event in gorgeous scenery with an ever-inspiring line-up, cheffy demos throughout the day and a very popular beer tent. Running alongside is the Dales Festival of Art (also May 4th – 6th) with drop-in workshops and an art trail, among other delights.

Various venues Leyburn 01969 622317 dalesfestivaloffood.org

May 18th & 19th

Malton Food Lover’s Festival

The market town of Malton presents its annual food festival, with celebs including Antonio Carluccio, Tom Parker-Bowles, James Mackenzie and (natch) Andrew Pern of The Star Inn at Harome. Also appearing will be Rob Green, award-winning National Seafood Chef of the Year at Green’s of Whitby; Stephanie Moon, chef consultant at Rudding Park; Rob Porter, Blind Swine, and the good people from Betty’s Cookery School.

Various venues 01653 692849 maltonfoodfestival.co.uk


May 16th

Noddy Holder in Conversation with Mark Radcliffe

Ask me ‘Who is Noddy Holder?’ and I can only reply: ‘Curse you for being under 40.’ The real answer, of course, is that Sir Noddy of Holder is — as people of middle-age and above will testify — a glam rock god. At least he used to be in the early 1970s when his group Slade, who were big on eyeliner, silver jumpsuits and stack-heels, ruled the charts. These days, Slade are best known for their raucous festive hit Merry Christmas Everybody but Noddy’s career is about more than just one song. Here he looks back over a lifetime of achievements in conversation with his friend Mark Radcliffe from 6 Music; and if he doesn’t turn up in a mirrored top hat and mutton chops, I’ll be very disappointed indeed (Noddy that is — not Radcliffe).

City Varieties Leeds 0113 243 0808 cityvarieties.co.uk also May 19th Harrogate Theatre 01423 502116 harrogatetheatre.co.uk

May 11th

As Far as I Know

Roger McGough, prolific writer is touring with a new collection of poems. Catch him if you can.

Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough 01723 370541 sjt.uk.com

May 1st

Romany Wood Concert

Romany Wood is a 40-minute work for children’s voices and orchestra. This is the first of four annual concerts to raise money for UNICEF UK. Children from 11 York schools are taking part. So far the venture has raised over £100,000 and involved more than 7,000 children in performances, which include two Royal Charity Gala performances - for Prince Edward and for Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

York Minster 0844 9390015 boxoffice.yorkminster.org

York’s Chocolate Story

Brilliant Brands! 25th May – 2nd June

Did you know York is the birthplace of some of the world’s most popular chocolate and sweetie brands; Kit Kat, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Aero, Polos, Smarties and Fruit Pastilles? And do you think you have what it takes to create a world-dominating brand yourself?

Have a go at designing your own chocolate packaging this half-term in a make-and-take kids’ workshop.

Connoisseur Club, Choctail Masterclass, 4th June

With a rolling programme of tantalising chocolate-themed events this is the perfect way to indulge yourself and explore your love of chocolate.

Shake your stuff and learn how to make a range of chocolate-themed cocktails with the Chocolate Bar team. The innovative flavours, including Mint Choc Delight and Orange Chocolate Temptation, take inspiration from some of York’s most popular chocolate bars.

The workshop includes recipes and taster portions of the Chocolate Bar’s delicious choctails. Participants must be over 18.

Tickets cost £10 and include a free drink from the Chocolate Bar.

Polo 65th anniversary, 15th – 16th June

Polo is still Britain’s best-selling mint brand with approximately 20 million mints produced every day and an average of 150 Polos eaten every second.

Uncover the history of the infamous round mint and discover what they actually do with all those left over holes! Plus have a go at making your very own mint chocolates in the attraction’s chocolate-making workshops.


Until May 25th

Fragments in Time

This is sculptor Darrell Evanes’ first solo exhibition which has more than 20 amazing reclaimed and very intricate metal sculptures.

Mill Bridge Gallery Skipton millbridgegallery.co.uk